Julie Bourgeois is the founder and fashion designer behind the label Tata Christiane and is also one of the participants in SemiDomesticated’s first Show & Sell event on December 4th. While visiting her atelier, after receiving her submission, we were impressed by beautiful textures and amazing sewing techniques. Tata Christiane is such a lovely mixture of so many things that we are not sure how to best describe it, so in the designers own words…
Tata Christiane Couture projects a vision of the street costume, using second hand, sophisticated vintage clothing and old grotesque dresses for old women aesthetics. It proposes an absurd and disturbing vision of beauty, with decay, maladjustments, extravagance and immoderation. Without being neither a concept nor a futuristic vision of society, it plays with the borders between elegance and bad taste, digging up our old memories, recycling the waste of our civilization, and becoming a monomania, a machination and a monstrous and sublime unique piece. Tata Christiane could have been a punk, if she was not also an ambiguous queen, a one eyed flautist, a gypsy woman and a street child. Tata Christiane Couture is for boys and girls, women and transvestites, men and old people, kings and madmen. Tata Christiane Couture is neither obliging nor kind.
Please tell us about your background and what led you towards a career in fashion design?
I have a classical literature education, studying Literature and Philosophy for five years in Paris and one year in Germany. I simultaneously became an autodidact sewer, as wardrobe master for young theater companies and through various training courses by stylists and wardrobe masters in Paris. In 2007 I founded the label Tata Christiane.
Tata Christinane is a ‘vision of street costume’ and it ‘proposes a disturbing vision of reality’. Can you tell us a bit more about these concepts and why you choose to incorporate vintage pieces in order to obtain your aesthetic?
Tata Christiane states, for me, the relationship I have to the world and is a poetic way of expressing how to exist within it. Through immoderation and spectacle, Tata Christiane communicates a vision of a world fed by imagination and creative games, in relation to present, past and forthcoming times. As with many things, it [the label] is about fiction that breaches reality, questioning it or making it smile. Fashion is also for me a cross-over between various arts and ways of self-expression in a playful dynamic. Vintage, to me, is a playful element that surprises because of its variety and its stories.
Can you tell us about the most interesting collections you have made?
I’m very excited about the collection I’m developing right now, IQÔN IN CABIN FEVER, because I’m in the research-phase. I also really liked my last collection because of my collaborations with Daria Marchik; together we did a presentation and a performance in Kiev. The masks that I created for the last collection, Variations Chamanes, are still a source of inspiration.
What are the differences between making collections for street wear, couture or costumes?
For me there isn’t such big difference because I usually mix all of the above. Vintage symbolizes, for me, this kind of mixture which works marvelously; when time seems to eliminate all connotations, making them derisory.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
From the street, from my own head and through the contact with people who inspire me a lot.
Other than at SemiDomesticated, where can we see more of your work?
You can find my work in Berlin at Kaufhaus der Berliner in Friedrichshain, at Sameheads in Neukölln and in my studio by appointment.